Thursday, September 29, 2011
Knock-Off Companies - Good or Bad?
I have heard several views on this. It's a great deal. Good products and a great price. GW price gouges us and is a terrible company to it's loyal customer base. The list of reasons why it's a good thing goes on and on. The guys doing this are probably just a few talented folks that want to make a buck, and live in a dirt poor part of the world.
But I am concerned about what the impact of this is on the people who make our games. Let's say it's GW- my personal favorite. Games Workshop is in business to make money. Period. I'm sure they love games and gamers - are probably gamers themselves - and aren't out to "exploit" their fanbase. But they company has to make money. No money - no reason to be in business - no hobby for us to play. They invest a lot of money in their intellectual property. Let's face it - almost no other company has the pagentry and story lines that the Games Workshop universe offers. How many total Black Library books have they published to date. Their investment in their products is far from insignificant.
So to me it seems unfair that they have no way of protecting this with the bootleggers. I personally think it is wrong for the knockoffs. At the end of the day though - they stay in business because we - the gaming community-support them. We look at the short term that we get to save a couple bucks - and forget the long term that the company that is REALLY making the product - has to make money to keep making the product.
As gamers, we have to make our choices on where we get our stuff. I try to support the local stores as much as possible. Without them I don't have a place to play and a distributor of the stuff I want to buy. That's my personal choice. I encourage each of us to think about the impacts of where we spend our hobby dollars beyond just the best deal you can get.